The Haystack

The student news site of Wheat Ridge High School

The student news site of Wheat Ridge High School

The Haystack

The student news site of Wheat Ridge High School

The Haystack

SAT Stressing

Franziska Barczyk for NPR
Standardized Testing

The SAT is a famous institutional measure of academics that almost all American high school students know and fret about. The stress from the high stakes of college acceptances, scholarly competition, and last-minute studying have students distraught. 

High school junior Isabella Lamoreaux stated  how she’s “naturally worried about the test” and how her score is important to her as it helps her to “get into the colleges she wants to go to.” She also mentioned how she’s done a lot of prep work in and out of class to prepare for the test even though as it approaches she’s still worried. 

Senior Alice Morrissey reflected on her score stating that she didn’t “think the SAT was as important as thought,” as well as mentioning that she didn’t submit her score for most of her college applications and was accepted regardless. 

So how valuable is a good SAT score in modern education?

Story continues below advertisement

First, it’s important to clarify what a “good” SAT score is. An average score is 1050, and according to CollegeBoard a 1350 puts you in the top 10% of test takers. However, even the College Board (the company that oversees all things SAT) admits that a good score only makes your application more “competitive at more selective schools.”

However, a good score can allow for a more than-desirable college application. Some college scholarships are awarded through high SAT scores, like the Merit scholarship.

Specifically the Merit scholarship awards test takers who received a 1200-1600 score; the higher the score, the more money awarded. But the scholarship isn’t completely based on the SAT.

The Merit scholarship also looks at a student’s GPA, class rank, and other standardized test scores; so it is possible to be awarded a scholarship without submitting your SAT score. It’s also important to remember that Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Brown don’t offer Merit aid.

Modern Colleges are looking for those whose strengths and experiences can add to their school. Some colleges accept people who include their SAT score, GPA, class rank, list of extracurriculars, and complex essays. Those same colleges also have accepted those who have just included an essay. 

So although a good SAT score can be appealing to schools, it is just another standardized test that colleges glance at. In modern education, it’s equally as valuable to focus on extracurriculars, grades in school, and hobbies to impress colleges. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sophie Martin, Editor
This is my second year being a part of the Haystack. Through this I've found a love for all things journalism; I love reporting on current events, taking pictures, and recording and editing podcasts. And a little about me, I'm in my junior year of high school, almost there right? Outside of journalism, I play basketball, spend as much time as I can outdoors, and I'm almost always listening to music.

Comments (0)

All The Haystack Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *